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Mallory Vandaveer for most of her life. She's the good time girl, up for
anything--and everyone in her small town knows it. But when her sister came
home after years of being away, long hidden secrets came out.
Turns out, Mallory isn't who she thought she was. And now everything starts to
feel like a lie. In order to figure out who she is she'll have to set out on a
journey to find the one man who holds the answers.
Everett Boone is in hiding. Hiding from his past and the press and the demands
of a career he put on hold after tragedy struck. When a young woman with
secrets of her own blows into town and rents the apartment next to his, he'll
have to face the past he was trying to escape in order to understand his feelings
themselves to discover whether or not they're capable of being enough for one
another. Finding the person you're meant
to love isn't the problem. Sometimes the hardest person to find is yourself.
“Looks like she is,” I breathed. A part of me was kind of hoping that she wouldn't come back. Another part, the one that hoped she did, was taking notes on how great she looked as we approached. She smiled that excited, nervous grin that she had when Vince told her she could have the apartment. She had a certain
look about her that reminded me of Audrey. The Audrey from before we hit it big. The one that just wanted to grab life by the horns. The one that didn't let the pressure get to her. Like the old Audrey, she hadn't yet
been tainted. She was naïve and unassuming, at least from where I was standing.
“Need some help?” Vince offered up about the time I saw her helper step out from behind the truck. He was around the same height as me, which is where our similarities ended. This guy had muscles in places I didn't even know were possible, and I was an athlete. On top of those muscles he had tattoos and a look on his face that said “back the fuck off.” Or he did when he was looking at me anyway. Judging from his appearance, I guessed I wouldn't have to worry about him recognizing me. He didn't look like an avid golf fan. No, this guy was country, not country club. All the more reason for me to keep my distance from her. The last thing I wanted to deal with was an overprotective boyfriend.
When he turned his attention to Vince his demeanor seemed to change. “I think we've only got it, but thank you,” he said politely. “I do have one favor to ask though,” he added, looking up at my new neighbor who appeared to be concerned with the next words that were going to come out of his mouth.
“Sure,” Vince answered, resting his arms on the back of the truck. “Keep an eye on my girl here,” he nodded up at her. “She tends leap before she looks, if you know what I mean.”
“I do not,” she spouted. “I'll be just fine. I'm a big girl.” The way she popped her hand up on her hip and practically stomped her foot caused everyone of us to crack a smile. She hopped down out of the back of the truck and shut the tailgate. “Thanks for your offer, Vince, but this is the last load to go upstairs. Come on, Cole,” she urged, seeming to have better places to be.
“Vince, was it?” Cole extended his hand. “Nice to meet you.”
“You too,” Vince replied. “We'll keep an eye on her.” Cole nodded, pleased with Vince's words.
“Boone,” I replied, thrusting my hand out to meet his. I wasn't scared of this guy. Sure, he could have probably kicked my ass all over the street, but he had no reason to worry about me. I wasn't interested in his girl.
“Not going to have to worry about you getting her into any trouble, am I?” He raised up, his broad shoulders casting a shadow over me. His hand squeezed around mine in warning.
“Nope,” I said, matching the pressure of his grip. “Not going to have to worry about me at all.” I feel myself rising up to gain an inch on him. “If she's getting into any trouble she'll be doing it all on her own.”
Which I didn't doubt. As sweet and naïve as she appeared, I could tell from our brief encounter that she was a spitfire. Cole didn't need to worry about me one bit, but he moved toward me nonetheless. This guy wanted to stand toe-to-toe, I was game. It'd been a while since I felt an adrenaline rush. I used to get them all the time—teeing off on the first hole of a major, sinking a putt to seal a double birdie. This was a different kind of rush, but I'd take it. It was good to feel something other than guilt for once.
“Good.” He finally broke the tension with a chuckle. “I'll see ya around, Boone.”
“Yep.” Guess he'd be back to visit.
nowhere – she couldn't.
He always knew he would never be more than nothing. No job, no money, no future. Cole Pritchett had accepted the fact that he would always be the screw up and he was okay with it. Until he met her.
Here's the thing they quickly found out – sometimes we all need a little help escaping who we think we are.
About Elizabeth Lee
If I’m not reading, writing, enjoying drinks with my amazing group of
girlfriends or chasing around a sarcastically funny kid, I’m probably watching television shows that were created for teenagers, while my husband teases that I’m too old to watch them.